Lexington has had a lot of cloudy gray days lately, and I’ve appreciated the bright colorful winterberries (Ilex verticillata) in our backyard.
The berries are a good source of food, and our backyard birds would like to eat them. However, again this year, a mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) has been diligently guarding the berries. It eats a few now and then, and doesn’t allow any other birds to partake. At some point, a flock of birds is likely to overwhelm the mockingbird and get all the berries. But for now, it’s king/queen of its domain.
Yesterday was the winter solstice, an event to which I always look forward (posts from 2012 and 2013). There’s something special about knowing we’ve reached the shortest day of the year, and our days will gradually get longer. We awoke to a beautiful wintry scene, with heavy frost covering the winterberries and other plants with beautiful icy crystals. It was as though nature was also celebrating the solstice.
I have no idea how long the mockingbird will be able to keep the winterberries for itself. However, I’m glad we had them to help celebrate the solstice.